Yes, the Raptors were down a few players and the Warriors have given them trouble in recent meetings, but it's hard to suspect that anyone saw what may be the low point of the season coming.
There was just nothing there on defence from the jump as the Raptors allowed 45 points after the first quarter, let the Warriors hit nearly everything before halftime to hit the break with 84 points (a new franchise record for an opponent) and saw a season-high 138 points scored against them by the final buzzer.
The Warriors' dynamic starting backcourt of Monta Ellis (27 points, 10 assists) and Stephen Curry (23 points, eight assists) got the home side off to a hot start and the pair finished with huge nights against the Raptors for a second straight meeting.
"Coach (Triano) preached it the whole time in practice yesterday, that when we play a team like this we have to make sure we get guys back, whenever somebody shoots it we have to get guys back," said James Johnson. "It was well deserved, they have two fast guards who can handle the ball and make plays like that, so I give all the props to them.”
How do you pick anyone for this designation in a blowout loss like this? Some nice efforts from James Johnson, Ed Davis, DeMar DeRozan and Leandro Barbosa, but singling out an individual performer after this kind of overall defensive effort seems wrong.
Chalk it up to inexperience, fatigue, injuries, matchups, apathy or perhaps a combination of all of the above, but this was one of the ugliest losses of the season at a point where effort, energy and improvement have to be the focal points.
“We have to be much better guarding on the ball and guarding in our rotations and everything else. We couldn’t keep them in front. They get it going a bit and then we come in and try to pick up the energy, but they’ve already got their rhythm going. This is a team that has been struggling and you know that they’re going to break out; they are too good offensively to keep struggling. So tonight unfortunately it was on us.”
- Jay Triano, on the defence
Fri., Mar. 25 @ Golden State
10:30 PM, Sportsnet One, FAN590
The prospect of being turned into a screensaver by Blake Griffin may not be the ideal follow up for a Raptors team nursing a fragile psyche after Friday's blowout, but play on they must in LA on Saturday. At the very least, the Raptors can take solace in beating the Clips once this season 98-93 at ACC back on February 13.
|1||Lead changes in Friday's game, occuring in the game's first minute|
|40-15||Fast break points favouring the Warriors|
|68||Shooting percentage for the Warriors at halftime|
|10-17||3-pt shooting for the Warriors|
|34||Warriors points scored of 18 Raptors turnovers|
|"Foul if you have to, bite if you have to. We can’t come out and play like this again.”."|
- James Johnson on on the defeat
|"We are playing against ourselves right now. You are playing a game, not against your opponent, but you are competing against yourself and you have to try and master that guy because that guy is going to be with you forever."|
- Warriors head coach Keith Smart on his team's win
|"This is probably one of the toughest games mentally that I’ve had to go through in my career, but I just tried to keep fighting the whole game."|
- Ed Davis, on playing through a blowout